Pfizer has urged the U.S. to approve its new experimental COVID-19 pills that can be taken at home to prevent a rising number of virus patients in hospital this winter.
A Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) panel is due to meet this Friday to consider approving booster shots for all American adults, with some states already making the move ahead of the decision, but Pfizer is hopeful the group will make a decision on its experimental COVID drug before then.
Meanwhile, lockdowns have been announced in several countries that target the unvaccinated to reduce the impact of an expected new wave of infections over Christmas and New Year. Infections have been rapidly rising across Europe in recent weeks.
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Biden pledges to ‘rebuild the economy from the bottom up and middle out’
Off the back of signing the historic infrastructure bill, the president hopes he can meet his “Build Back Better” pledge to revitalize the U.S. economy post-COVID.
Over 500,000 jobs were added last month, in a sign that mass unemployment brought on by the pandemic – and its devastating side effects – will soon be reversed.
NYC to put on ‘full strength’ New Year’s Eve celebrations with tight COVID measures
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the festivities will return to relative normality this year after celebrations last year were primarily viewed virtually. Only a few hundred people attended in person, marking the first time since 1907 that the event did not have a large crowd of spectators.
Those who do attend this year’s celebration will need to show proof of vaccination and photo ID, or provide a negative COVID-19 test and wear a mask. Children under five also need to be in the company of a vaccinated adult.
States approve vaccine rollout for all adults ahead of FDA decision
Several U.S. states have decided to roll out the vaccine for all Americans over 18 despite the FDA not yet meeting to decide on the measure.
So far California, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Colorado have decided to make the move, as well as New York City.
The rollout of Pfizer boosters is expected to be approved nationwide on Friday and the final step — the CDC’s official recommendation — could come soon after the meeting.
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States that have not yet approved the vaccine rollout for all adults are awaiting a crucial decision from the FDA, while Pfizer waits for the agency to approve its new experimental take-at-home pill.
Follow Newsweek’s liveblog throughout Wednesday for all the latest.